Synchronizing multiple PDA's with Microsoft Money - good idea?

In my opinion, this is a very very bad idea. It is not supported by Microsoft, nor is it likely to work. My main concerns are due to data integrity issues. Because synchronization also deletes old transactions, if one Pocket PC deleted some and then the other Pocket PC was connected, there is a big issue.

A couple of scenarios (these only speculative and only to illustrate the point that data integrity is at risk - I'm not going to risk my files, and only having a single Pocket PC means I can't test what really happens).

Say you had two perfectly synchronized Pocket PC's(say PPC#1 and PPC#2) and a Microsoft Money file.

Delete a transaction from PPC#1.
  • This synchronizes to the Money file.
  • Connect PPC#2 - oh, there's an extra transaction on this Pocket PC, synchronize puts it back.. or does it?? (MSMoney might think that it is a new transaction entered a long time after the transaction date).
  • If it puts it back, then connect PPC#1 again - it gets put back.
  • So possibly, you could never delete a transaction from the Pocket PC side
Add a transaction to PPC#1
  • It synchronizes to the Money file
  • Connect PPC#2 - the transaction doesn't exist, but as i synchronized with ActiveSync what does Money do - add it to PPC#2? maybe, but perhaps it thinks it already has done this (as it did this on PPC#1), so perhaps instead, the user deleted it from the second Pocket PC, so maybe it'll say that the transaction is now deleted and send this deletion to the Microsoft Money file.
Add a transaction to the Money file
  • Synchronize to PPC#1
  • Edit it on PPC#1
  • Connect PPC#2 - now what, assuming the Money file resynchronizes, then you cannot guarantee that the edited version is going to make it onto PPC#2, or even whether the edit will get replaced.
The scenarios possibly could get worked out, but as it stands, things are very likely to get very messy and your data integrity goes out of the window. The probable consequence of all of this is a broken Microsoft Money file.

Some commentary regarding a single PDA with two computers can be found at Article 330.

Category: PocketPC

Keywords: Palm, PocketPC, synchronization

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